By Steve Graf
All our lives we have heard of things we should “never do,” things like never play with matches, never kiss a girl on the first date, never ride in the back of a pickup truck, never run with a knife, never run at the pool… and the list goes on and on. Our parents took the time to teach us these, and many others, that you should and should not do. Now we did not always follow their teachings, but at least we were told. It was your own fault if you went against these teachings and got hurt. As we all know, it’s human nature to disregard the advice of our parents. It was more fun to be a rebel, no matter what the consequences were. Bass fishermen are no different, and today we’ll go over a few things you should never do as an angler.
Let’s first start with launching the boat. This can be a circus to watch, as you know, if you’ve spent much time around a boat ramp. You could make some really funny YouTube blooper videos with some of the antics I’ve seen at a boat ramp. But the most important thing to remember…never block the boat ramp while launching your boat. I’ve seen this so many times; an angler backs his boat down to the ramp and then starts to put all of his gear in the boat! Major no-no!!! Load your boat BEFORE you back it down to the ramp!!!!
Next, always wear your life jacket. This is a must, no matter how much experience you have. Unfortunately, this is something some people ignore. Just like driving a car and wearing your seatbelt, sometimes things happen beyond your control that can result in serious injury or even death. Even the pro’s, who basically run a boat every day, wear their life jackets all the time. Too many deaths have occurred on our waterways due to people not wearing their life jackets. Today, there are more anglers on the water than ever before, many who are young and inexperienced. Don’t take a chance, put your life jacket on!
On a lighter note, never go fishing without snacks. This is a major no- no as well. Snacks can turn a bad day into a not-so-bad day, especially when the fish aren’t biting. Here are a few items I like to bring every time I hit the water. Number one for me is a turkey sandwich. Now I have a special bread I use for my turkey sandwiches. I really like the Hawaiian Bread sub rolls, along with either a good Hellman’s low-fat mayo or mustard. Most tournaments I’ll bring one for my co-angler and I’ve had several that have said they would like to marry me after they’ve eaten one of these. But I always tell them that I’m already married to the best lady on planet earth…. sorry!!! If I don’t have any sub rolls, I’ll just take a sandwich bag full of smoked turkey or sliced Honey Baked Ham. But there’s one thing I will always have in the boat…beef jerky. This is a great filler food that will hold you over until you get back to the house.
Obviously, these are just a few of the thing’s anglers should never do. Of the three I’ve listed today, none is more important than wearing your life jacket and yet, there will be someone who will totally ignore what I’ve just written. Next week we’ll look at more things that anglers “should or should never do.” Till then, good luck, good fishing and don’t forget to set the hook!